The crisis in cybersecurity skills

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This is one topic that just about everybody will agree. You can use a gap of one million or a gap of two million, the point is the same: the federal government is facing a drastic shortage of talent when it comes to understanding cybersecurity.

This week on Federal Tech Talk, host John Gilroy speaks with Phil Quade, chief information security officer for Fortinet. Quade is a well-known figure in the federal cybersecurity community, and he will talk about the crisis in cybersecurity skills. After 34 years of service at the National Security Agency, he has the background to make observations about the state of cybersecurity ability in the federal government.

Head shot of Phil Quade
Phil Quade, CISO, Fortinet

Some companies will suggest that automation is a way to handle the gap, but Quade says cybersecurity is a human problem and one shouldn’t ignore the insight that humans can provide. In fact, he talks about the importance of diversity in the human element of the cybersecurity approach.

Suzette Kent recently retired as federal chief information officer of the United States. Before she left, Kent had a couple of initiatives that included a couple of cohorts of federal employees in an innovative way of cybersecurity. They applied and once approved, got to participate in a course from the Sans Institute.

This training must include considerations like management buy-in, pay scales, and a path for people who have gone through training.